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Sing a Camp Song: JCC Camps Build Their Music Programs

Everyone agrees that music is a central component of the camp experience, and that’s why we are funding teams from three JCC day camps and three overnight camps to attend Songleader Bootcamp at the St. Louis JCC this month. Originally developed by musician Rick Recht and Rabbi Bradley Horowitz, Songleader Bootcamp is a training program for professional, part-time, and aspiring song leaders as well as rabbis and cantors.  “Our goal is to strengthen the culture of music in camps,” said Jodi Sperling, director of the Merrin Center for Teen Services and Camping at JCC Association. “The music program has to sustain itself from summer to summer rather than depend on an individual song leader.” David Ackerman, director of the Mandel Center for Jewish Education, is on the faculty of this year’s SLBC, and Sperling is developing a special JCC camp track. Participating JCC camps will receive a site visit during the summer in support of their music program. “We heard from the field that they needed help with this,” Sperling said. So many JCC camps applied—35 in all—that SLBC offered a discount to those who were not chosen.

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